Camper, Cathy and Gonzalez, Raul. Lowriders in Space.
November 4th 2014 by Chronicle Books
Copy received at Kidlitcon
Lupe (an anthropomorphic fox?), Elirio Malaria (a mosquito), and Flapjack Octopus all work long hours at a car dealership, where they wish that they could open their own store. A way to do this presents itself-- there is a lowrider competition, and the three find a junk car and use their skills to trick it out. Using parts from an abandoned airplane factory, they create a vehicle that manages to go into space, where it gets further embellishment from the stars and scientific phenomena the group runs across. Coming back to earth, their car is deemed the best, and they are able to contemplate new adventures once they have their own shop.
Strengths: The artwork in this is great-- it's done in three colors of ball point pen, which gives it a very unique look. It was great that the main mechanic was female. There is a lot of Hispanic culture as well as some Spanish language in this book. If there is a strong interest in cars in your library, this is a must have.
Weaknesses: The octopus and mosquito seemed like slightly odd character choices, and there's not much interest in cars at my school. Still, middle grade readers will pick up just about anything in comic/graphic novel format. Be interested to see how this does.
Book trailer available here: